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QBullet: Paper Trail For Future Polls; Gandhis’ I-T Plea Rejected

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.

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1. Paper Trail to Be Used for All Future Elections, Says CEC

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.
(Photo: PTI)

In the midst of a raging debate on the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs), a majority of political parties that attended the Election Commission's all-party meeting on Friday supported the use of electronic machines though they called for paper trails and more safeguards.

The parties demanded EVMs with voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPAT) and more scrutiny of election and post-election processes.

Just a handful of parties, like BSP, the first to slam EVMs after the UP assembly poll results, RJD, Trinamool Congress and Tamil Nadu-based PMK demanded a return to the ballot paper system.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which had held a “demonstration” in the Delhi assembly to show the alleged tampering of EVMs earlier this week, called for a “hackathon” with machines used in the recent assembly polls in five states. However, it backed the use of VVPATs.

(Source: Times of India)

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2. Delhi High Court Rejects Gandhis’ I-T Plea in National Herald Case

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. (Photo: Reuters)

In a setback to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, the Delhi High Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea by Young Indian Pvt Ltd (YIL) challenging the Income Tax department notices served on the company, clearing the decks for an IT probe.

The Gandhis are the main stakeholders in YI and have been accused by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy of cheating and misappropriating funds linked to National Herald newspaper.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Chander Shekhar said Young Indian should approach the IT authorities first and raise its grievances there rather than directly moving court.

“We are not inclined to entertain your writ petition. It is better you withdraw and approach the income tax assessing officer,” the court observed while refusing relief.

(Source: Times of India)

3. Ummer Fayaz Killing: Police Release Photos of Three Hizbul Suspects

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.
Ummer Fayaz was abducted by militants from his relative’s wedding and shot dead. (Photo: The Quint)

The Jammu and Kashmir Police have released the photographs of three Hizbul Mujahideen militants they believe were involved in the abduction and killing of 22-year-old Indian Army officer Ummer Fayaz.

Posters with the photographs of the three men can be seen across southern Kashmir, the hotbed of insurgency where the young unarmed lieutenant’s body was found early on Wednesday, a few hours after he was abducted from the wedding ceremony of a cousin in Shopian. He was shot twice.

Police have announced a reward for information leading to the arrest of Ishfaq Ahmad Thokar, Gayas-ul-Islam and Abbas Ahmad Bhat. The three were part of the group that snatched the Rajputana Rifles officer, who hailed from Kulgam in south Kashmir and was home on leave, sources said.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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4. Triple Talaq Abhorrent, Like Death Penalty: SC

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.
Picture used for representational purpose. (Photo: iStock)

The Supreme Court on Friday compared the controversial practice of instant divorce in Islam to capital punishment, saying triple talaq was like death penalty – “abhorrent but still allowed”.

A five-judge constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar is hearing pleas challenging the practice which allows a Muslim man to end his marriage by uttering the word talaq (I divorce you) thrice in one go.

Khehar drew a parallel with death penalty in response to a submission by senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, who said triple talaq was sinful but lawful. Khurshid is the amicus curiae, or court’s adviser, in the case.

The multi-faith bench of five judges - a Hindu, a Sikh, a Christian, a Zoroastrian and a Muslim – began hearing the petitions on Thursday, making it clear that the court would not examine Islamic custom of polygamy and nikah halala.

(Source: Hindustan Times)

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5. Cops May Quiz Two Gujarat Lions Players
Over Fixing Row

In a new twist to the IPL betting controversy, one of the three front men arrested from a Kanpur hotel reportedly claimed in his conversation with the Ajmer-based bookie that he was in touch with two players of Gujarat Lions. Based on this conversation, Kanpur cops may question the two players.

Gujarat Lions played a see-saw match against Delhi Daredevils at the Green Park stadium here on 10 May. Three persons – Nayan Ramesh Shah, Vikas Chauhan and Ramesh Kumar – were arrested for placing bets on the match. They were in constant touch with Bunty, the bookie from Ajmer.

“In a WhatsApp chat recovered from Shah's phone, he is telling Bunty he is in touch with two Lions players. After procuring his remand on Monday, we will question Shah about his proximity with these two players. If he discloses their names, police will question them,” said SP (East) Anurag Arya, who is leading the probe.

(Source: Times of India)

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6. Haryana Districts Inflating Girl Child Stats, Finds Audit

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.
Image used for representational purpose. (Photo: AP)

Last year, Haryana’s sex ratio (the number of girls per 1,000 boys) touched 900. In the first quarter of this year, it galloped to 935. The number for March 2017 was still higher, 950.

To put these numbers in perspective, the national sex ratio for children in the 2011 Census was 919. In Haryana, the number stood at 834. There is now suspicion that the remarkable surge in sex ratio could be due to dubious numbers.

The state's claim of having made rapid strides in correcting its gender imbalance (India's worst, till recently) faces probing questions after an audit of figures reported by eight of 10 districts in the first quarter of this year found girl child numbers were misreported.

In some cases, they were inflated. In others, newborn girls were registered on priority in the quarter under review while male children were registered in the next quarter to manipulate the final outcome. The audit was started by the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ campaign team after it got suspicious of some of these “remarkable” numbers.

(Source: Times of India)

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7. Days Before Jadhav Death Sentence, Pakistan Laid Ground at ICJ

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.
File image of Kulbhushan Jadhav. (Photo Courtesy: YouTube/Dawn News)

Twelve days before Pakistan’s military court sentenced Kulbhushan Jadhav to death for “espionage and subversive activities”, Islamabad quietly gave a declaration to the International Court of Justice at The Hague stating that matters related to Pakistan’s “national security” would not be part of the ICJ’s jurisdiction.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Maleeha Lodhi, submitted the declaration to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on 29 March, which superseded Pakistan’s earlier declaration to the ICJ on 12 September 1960.

The Indian Express examined both declarations and found that the national security clause was one of the key additions in the new declaration. These declarations are essentially terms and conditions under which a country decides to accept ICJ’s jurisdiction.

Top government sources in New Delhi said this was, in all likelihood, a “pre-emptive” step to counter India’s attempt to approach the ICJ and seek justice. “This clearly shows that the Pakistan government had made up its mind on the death sentence, and was trying to plug holes in its system,” said a top source.

(Source: Indian Express)

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8. No Objection to Sadhvi Pragya Singh’s Discharge in Malegaon Blast Case: NIA

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur. (Photo: IANS)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday told a special NIA court that it had no objection to the discharge application filed by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.

Thakur had moved the application seeking discharge from the case after the Bombay High Court granted her bail on 25 April.

The High Court had taken into account the clean chit given to Thakur by the NIA in its supplementary chargesheet, and granted her bail “in the absence of incriminating or objectionable material”.

The NIA, in its eight-page reply to Thakur’s discharge application, said there was insufficient material against Thakur to prosecute her and that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that the charges against her are prima facie not true”.

(Source: Indian Express)

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9. Aadhaar Not a Must for PAN, ITR in Assam, J&K, Meghalaya

The Quint brings you a collection of important news stories from the previous day.
(Photo: Altered by The Quint)

The revenue department has exempted residents of Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, and citizens above 80 years from mandatory quoting of Aadhaar to obtain PAN cards and file tax returns.

A notification in this regard has been issued by the government. This comes at a time when a case challenging mandatory use of Aadhaar for PAN (Permanent Account Number) and filing Income Tax Return (ITR) is pending in the Supreme Court.

The apex court has reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of a provision in the Income Tax Act to make Aadhaar mandatory.

The finance ministry notification gives the exemption to "an individual who does not possess the Aadhaar number or the enrolment ID" who is residing in Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Meghalaya.

(Source: Times of India)

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